The Spanish pomegranate campaign will end about a month earlier this year because of a 30% drop in the production compared to last season.
"Before the start of the Mollar de Elche pomegranate campaign, we already anticipated a drop of around 20% in the production volume, but after the heavy rains recorded at the end of September and their impact on the fruit, the harvest has been reduced by up to 30%," says Susi Bonet, head of sales at the Cambayas cooperative in Elche, the largest producer of pomegranates in Spain.
"Some have already finished, and we will, too, by the end of December. We won't be able to supply new customers, since our volume has dropped by around 2 million kilos. We will, however, have enough production to complete the programs we already had with our customers," says Bonet.
According to Susi Bonet, while the lack of pomegranates hasn't had a great impact on the markets, it has been noticed in the sale of second class fruit, which has reached very good prices this year. "Normally, when there is an abundance of second class fruit, a part ends up going to the processing industry. This year there is hardly any fruit for the industry, which is also paying higher prices. This leads us to think that the producers will get decent prices this year."
Although the demand has been stagnant due to the abundant presence of other exotic fruits, such as kakis, sales are stable and are starting to pick up, and prices are also on the rise due to the limited supply. "The best part of the campaign in terms of sales and prices is still to come, with the pre-Christmas season ahead. Around this time of the year, large supermarket chains are always on the lookout for exotic products and prices tend to rise."